Well-designed and functioning kitchen cabinetry is essential in ensuring a beautiful and functionally practical kitchen, usually known as the heart of the home. Regarding kitchen cabinets, there are two popular types to choose from: Frameless kitchen cabinets and framed cabinets. Here is an article that will discuss qualities of all types and their pros and cons so that you can choose according to the requirements and taste of your cuisine.

Understanding cabinet construction differences

The choice of wood and material, colors, and treatment for cabinet installation in your kitchen or bathroom is critical. There are enough choices when it comes to customization. However, when thinking about it, for instance, your cabinet design, mainly how you frame up your wardrobe, could be challenging to remember.

What is meant by the framed or frameless cabinet, and how can we distinguish one from another? You will know how each fits into your kitchen or bathroom by exploring the differences.

Framed kitchen cabinets

These frames are called “face-frame” or “American” cabinets, originating from America. With its ability to fit into any kitchen or bathroom renovation, this cabinet has all the elements of an ideal design. As the name suggests, the cabinet face gets framed at the front of the cabinet. Instead of using a cabinet box, the doors and drawers are secured to the frame.

There are exposed trim boards for constructing the cabinet box or case on framed slab style kitchen cabinets. The cabinet is often built using manufactured engineered wood, while these boards are primarily hardwoods. This is because they are lighter, less prone to water damage, and easy to fit.

The benefits and drawbacks of framed cabinets

Framed cabinets have numerous advantages in the kitchen. The face frame adds strength and longevity, making them appropriate for heavy-duty applications.

Furthermore, the face frame lends a classic touch to the kitchen decor, allowing for a wide range of door styles and hardware alternatives.

However, there are several drawbacks to using framed cabinets. The face frame may restrict the accessible storage space within the cabinets.

Furthermore, the existence of a face frame may limit the options for more contemporary and streamlined design choices.

Frameless kitchen cabinets

Frameless kitchen cabinets have four sides and a back, including the top and bottom of the “cabinet box” as sides. Because there is no designated top or bottom, most frameless cabinets can be turned and put either way. What finally distinguishes them is the absence of an additional construction frame for support.

Frameless cabinets are frequently referred to as “universal” or “full access” because, with no front border to secure the doors, they provide greater ease of access to the cabinet’s inside. With frameless cabinets, only complete overlay doors are used, and the door hinges are fastened directly to the cabinet box edges.

Frameless cabinets, considered the modern alternative to the more traditional choice of framed cabinets, have a very sleek and streamlined appearance, unbroken by the vertical face frames. The elegant and simplistic appearance works well with a range of design themes. There is no difference in outward space between framed and frameless cabinets; however, inside storage capacity is slightly larger with frameless cabinetry.

In terms of installation, most frameless cabinets are made with an MDF core, which makes them significantly heavier than framed cabinets.

Advantages and disadvantages of framed cabinets

Many advantages are associated with frameless cabinets, which explain their popularity in the kitchen area. This allows the inclusion of a face frame for more useful cabinet storage space that makes it easier to organize items.

It is worth noting that frameless cabinets are also very stylish and present great options for various modern kitchen ideas.

Nonetheless, frameless cabinets can possess several disadvantages. They could require a precise installation for proper alignment and smooth working.

Moreover, since the cabinet box does not have a face frame, it should be built strong and solid to maintain its structure.


Ultimately, it’s just a matter of taste whether one prefers framed or frameless cabinetry.

That’s all there is to it for framed and frameless cabinets— they are essentially just different ways of building the box construction.

If you like the traditional appearance, decorative hinges, and door options such as inset, partial overlay, or full overlay, frameless cabinets will be your best choice.

Frameless cabinets can serve better in small kitchens where every corner’s space is precious. They offer flexibility in terms of styles you may want, further drawers and cabinets, and not a wrong center stile, which is often inconvenient.